Using drone technology can bring down aircraft inspection time from two hours to not more than 15 minutes, according to Intel.
Chip-maker Intel and airlines manufacturer Airbus have collaborated for the demonstration of a drone with the capability of inspecting passenger airlines. The demonstration has been done at the Farnborough International Airshow in England on one of Airbus’ passenger airliners.
The drone used for this demonstration is an AscTec Falcon 8, which is considered as a market leader in the field of professional aerial inspection and surveying. The drone has been equipped with Intel’s RealSense cameras.
The drone was flown using a flight control system managed by a human pilot. The drone was pre-progammed to take a systematic flight path and to take a series of fully-automated pictures.
The focus was to take images which showed scratches, dents and painting defects and these images will be compiled into a 3D digital model, recorded in a database and will be analysed later.
In addition to this, the V-form octocopter performed a visual inspection on the upper part of the airliner with the help of the RealSense cameras for intelligent obstacle navigation and a 42-megapixel full frame camera for data capturing.
The data will be used for studies on improving damage traceability and also to reduce them and if possible to prevent them from occurring, in the first place.
Intel new technology group vice president and general manager Anil Nanduri said: “This collaboration and demo with Airbus showcases the advancements and innovation Intel brings to the drone industry.
“We believe this prototype showcasing the Intel RealSense collision avoidance technology on the AscTec Falcon 8 will further enable our products and our industry, as well as others.”
Aircraft quality inspection is a crucial step at the end of production process and before aircraft delivery. Intel is confident that, with this proof of concept, the benefits of using drone for inspection of airlines have been demonstrated.
According to Intel, with its RealSense technology on-board the unammed aerial vehicle (UAV) can reduce the inspection time of airline from two hours to not more than 15 minutes.
A full-scale industrial test is yet to be conducted, beginning with Airbus A330 aircraft with further development planned for other aircrafts programmes at Airbus.